The Delicious Power of Food

The Delicious Power of Food

It would be easy to assume that when Dwayne Johnson-Williams clocks out of HRH’s nutrition and dietetics department for the day, the last thing he wants to do at home is more cooking. Fortunately for his family, the opposite is true. Dwayne says his wife, Asia, and sons Dwight, 9, and Asa, 2, are his favorite people to cook for. “It’s a little challenging because there’s a lot that Asa doesn’t like,” he said. “Our meals right now are mostly my sons’ favorites: macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets and pasta.”

Dwayne Johnson-Williams, pictured right, is not a fan of eating at restaurants. “I don’t like to go to most places because whatever I order, I can usually make it better at home,” he said. “There are only two places I like, but of course, my sons prefer McDonald’s over anything!”

With over 10 years of experience working in hospital food service, Dwayne has mastered those staples as well as more challenging meals such as baked spaghetti and grilled steak. In 2023, HRH’s nutrition and dietetics team held a steak cookoff and Dwayne emerged as the winner! When asked for his secret, he doesn’t hesitate. “Patience,” said Dwayne. “Give yourself time so you’re not rushing. And salt and pepper.”

Dwayne first learned to cook from his mother at their home in Indianapolis. “I love to eat so I thought I should learn how to make my food,” he said. “Now it’s all I’ve done since high school.”

After high school, Dwayne joined the culinary job training program at Second Helpings. In 2013, he started working as a cook for IU Health where he met Keola Quartero, now HRH’s director of nutrition and dietetics. When Keola left to go work at Witham, Dwayne followed him. When Keola came to HRH, he recruited Dwayne to join his team here serving more than 1000 meals every day.

Dwayne and his teammates ensure that HRH’s patients, visitors and staff have access to nutritious and satisfying meals. He knows how essential this job is. “Cooking a great meal can go a long way,” said Dwayne. “Making food that tastes good can make someone’s day a little bit better.”

Dwayne describes himself as laid-back and says he prefers to stay off the radar as opposed to seeking the limelight. Somehow, he found himself working with one of the most visible teams at HRH and one that has a huge impact on people every day! “Luckily I love what I do,” he laughs.

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